October 23, 2012 by Emily Pergament
Last Friday, Claire and I were on our way over to 3 Sheets Saloon, which you may recall from this review, which the bar put up on its website just days after our publishing it, for Allison’s much-advertised free Happy Hour. Unfortunately, we didn’t end up getting to partake since Claire left her ID at home, but no big deal – we made out pretty good with our dinner choice on the way.
I have seen numerous well-spoken-of restaurants advertised in the Chelsea area, and since I was meeting Claire at Grand Central after work anyway, we decided to hoof it through on our way and grab a nice sit-down dinner together, which we don’t get too often in the fall/spring with my schedule. After passing three Chipotles and just about making our minds up to enter the fourth, we found ourselves on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 8th Street (right where the grid system ends, with authority) across from a charming-looking Neopolitan brick-oven pizza place with outdoor seating along the end of Greenwich Avenue.
Olio e Piú doesn’t have the best of reviews online, but I can’t really figure out why that is – just follow that link and you’ll see what I mean. We at inside due in part to their being crowded and my allergies, but were probably happier inside since we got to enjoy the dim lighting, cozy atmosphere and relaxed music and cushioned rustic chairs. Our table was a bit wobbly but nothing my foot couldn’t fix and certainly not enough to dampen our mood. As soon as we sat down, a woman passing us on her way to the bathroom asked if we had been here before, to which we answered no and she remarked that she hadn’t either, but walks by it every day and was so excited to finally try it. That’s the type of mood you could feel throughout the restaurant.
After devouring our basket of bread, expertly mixing olive oil with a Balsamic glaze that Claire insists will change your life, we debated a bit over our menu choice – I wanted to try the roasted garlic and sea salt Bruschette and Nostrana (ricotta, prosciutto and truffle oil) pizza – but ending up going with the simple Margherita pizza with a plate of Zucchini alla griglia for $20 in total. I’ll admit the pizza was a bit small especially for the price, but it was a serious contender for the best I’ve had in New York – thin crust (with air bubbles like Claire loves) and a good amount of sauce with fresh mozzarella slices. The zucchini may have been the best part of the meal, however. With grill marks on both sides, it looked almost like a steak and seriously tasted just as good.
We will definitely be heading back sometime to try the other pizzas and get some more of the zucchini alla griglia. Maybe we’ll manage to get into Three Sheets next time too.